We are reading the stories of Shri Sai Baba from the sacred text Shri Sai Satcharitra. Last stories we read were about Naming of Sai Baba as Sai and what some highly spiritual human beings said about Sai Baba when he was very young.
Now we proceed further with the stories from Sai SatCharitra chapter 5.
Sai Baba’s plantation of a garden
When Sai Baba was in the youth, he allowed the hair to grow and his head would not be shaved. Whenever he used to visit Rahta, he would always bring saplings of marigold and jasmine. These, he would plant in a desolate land with his own hand. He used to water them regularly. His devotee Vaman Tatya used to supplying two unbaked pots everyday. Sai Baba would water the plants daily with his own hands using these unbaked earthen pots.
Sai Baba would fill the pots from the stone vessel near the well and carry them on his shoulder. At the sunset after watering of the plants was over, He would put the pots under the Neem tree. The pots would crack as soon as they were placed. Next day, Vaman would bring him two new unbaked pitchers. The pitchers normally last much longer when they are baked. Sai Baba would require the unbacked ones, so the potter was able to sell them without the labour of baking the pots.
For years this was Sai Baba’s preoccupation. As a result a He raised a garden. This was the place
the pilgrims enjoyed the convenience of wada.
Padukas under the Neem Tree at Gurusthan
In the same place under the neem tree, a devotee named ‘bhai’ has installed the Padukas of Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. Swami Samarth of Akkalkot was Bhai’s chosen deity. With great devotion he would worship the photo of Swami Samarth of Akkalkot regularly. Once he felt that he go to Akkalkot and have darshan of Swami’s Padukas. He should offer sincere puja with all attendant rituals to Padukas.
Making all the necessary preparations he left Bombay (Mumbai) for Akkalkot. But next day he had to abandon the trip to Akkalkot and instead visited Shirdi. He had a dream in which Swami Samarth strongly urged him for Shirdi saying, “At the moment my stay is in Shirdi, so you leave for Shirdi.” Bhai obeyed the command with great reverence and went to Shirdi. He stayed in this sacred place for six months with great peace and happiness.
Bhai recalled the dream vision. To show respect towards the dream, he installed the Padukas of Swami Samarth under the neem tree very lovingly and with devotion. It was in the year 1912 A.D, in the month of Shravan (August-September). It was bright half of the moon on that day, which was auspicious Parva-Kaal. The installation was performed by the hands of Dada Kelkar under the direction of Upasani Maharaj. It was performed with all the rites and rituals prescribed by the Shastras (religious script).
A Brahmin named Dikshit was entrusted for the daily puja of Padukas, While Sagun Meru Naik looked after
the overall management.
For those who might get the desire to see this padukas at Gurusthan
After reading this if some devotees get the desire to see this padukas. What happened after few months and not written in Sai SatCharitra is given below.
A few months after their installation the padukas were damaged by a lunatic who also destroyed some of Shirdi’s temple idols. The devotees
were very distressed, believing it augured ill. Baba, however, took the matter casually and told them simply to repair the crack with
cement and undertake a feeding of the poor. Later, the broken padukas were replaced and the originals are said to be in the pedestal